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15.09.2020 Football News

Neymar race abuse row: PSG and Marseille back their men

By Paul Myers - RFI
REUTERS - GONZALO FUENTES
LISTEN SEP 15, 2020
REUTERS - GONZALO FUENTES

Bosses at Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille said on Monday they were giving their full backing to their players Neymar and Alvaro Gonzalez in the racist abuse row that has erupted in the aftermath of Marseille's 1-0 victory at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night.

Florian Thauvin scored the only goal of an ill-disciplined game to give the visitors their first success over their rivals since 2011.

However, the triumph has been eclipsed by Neymar's allegations that Gonzalez called him a monkey prompting the Brazilian to slap the Spaniard on the back of the head.

Neymar, who had received a yellow card during the first half of the Ligue 1 clash, was shown an instant red card. Four other players were also dismissed following a brawl at the end of the match.

"Paris Saint-Germain strongly supports Neymar Jr. who reported being subjected to racist abuse by an opposing player," PSG said in a statement.

"The club restates that there is no place for racism in society, in football or in our lives and calls on everyone to speak out against all forms of racism throughout the world."

Allegations
Neymar insisted Gonzalez racially abused him in a series of tweets on Sunday.

"Look at the racism. That's why I hit him," Neymar, said as he left the pitch. Gonzalez later denied making a racist comment.

"The only regret I have is not hitting this idiot in the face," Neymar then posted on social media after the game, before replying to a Gonzalez tweet to call him a racist.

Marseille issued their communique on Monday night.
"Alvaro Gonzalez is not racist," said the club statement. "He has shown us this with his behaviour since he arrived at the club. His teammates will also vouch for him."

The French league's disciplinary commission is set to meet on Wednesday. The panel will decide the punishments for the players who were sent off.

The watchdogs could also investigate Neymar's accusations against Gonzalez, who Marseille claim was spat on by Angel Di Maria - who was returning from isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.

"Marseille stands ready to cooperate with the league's disciplinary panel on all of the events that marked this match,"  the club added.

Punishments
Racist behaviour carries a maximum suspension of 10 matches. Spitting directed at another player can lead to a ban of up to six matches.

PSG's Layvin Kurrawa, who was also dismissed, meanwhile could be suspended for up to seven matches for violent conduct after aiming a punch at the Marseille defender Jordan Amavi who was also red-carded for retaliation.

Marseille's Dario Benedetto and PSG's Leandro Paredes were given their marching orders for a second bookable offence.

Referee Jerome Brisard cautioned five PSG men and six from Marseille  before his six-card flurry in the closing stages of the game.

His report of the match along with video footage will be viewed by an independent disciplinary panel on Wednesday.

The victory allowed Marseille to continue their 100 per cent start to the 2020/21 season. PSG suffered their second defeat - following a 1-0 reverse at Lens on 10 September and lie in the relegation zone.

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